Scaling your business can be both an exciting a daunting task. It is necessary to scale your business in order for it to grow and see more success, but along with the many opportunities come many challenges. It is important to be aware of these challenges before you begin to scale your business, or you could easily see it heading in the wrong direction. Here are some tips to help you avoid issues that can often arise when scaling, so that you can stay focused on the goals that matter to you and your business.
Don’t get too excited. It is important to have a plan in place for how you are going to scale your business and why it is going to work. You may think that the sooner you scale your business, the sooner it will grow and bring in more money. But as we will discuss below, there are many issues that can arise when scaling your business and if you are not prepared for them, they can sink your business and ultimately put you in a worse position than you were in when you first started. You must avoid misspending on things that seem great but are unnecessary for your business at the moment.
Scaling requires internal growth. As a small business you are able to personally oversee most things that happen in the company. While an important aspect of scaling your business is hiring more people to help in certain areas, an inherent effect of this is that you will no longer be able to directly oversee the majority of your business. This is typically a good thing because it allows you more time to focus on the actual growth of your business, and it allows the areas where you have hired help to grow independently of your direct supervision. However, once you have hired people to help you scale, you are putting an immense amount of trust in them to carry out their duties in a way that would align with your own. It is important to hire someone who understands your business and your vision. Moreover, it is important to hire someone that is easy to stay in touch with as well as easy to work with. It needs to click. Otherwise you will likely find yourself having issues you never had before merely because you are not the one overseeing these areas of your business.
You may be tempted to competitively lower prices. Scaling your business typically leads to more efficiency in production, which may lead you to believe you can cut your prices, either the prices of production or the actual sales tag. Don’t do this just because you can. If you have laid out a good plan for scaling your business, then you will know when you should change prices and why you are changing prices. Do it because you know how it will help your company, not just because you can.
Growing pains are almost certain. Many entrepreneurs will get excited about the prospect of scaling. Why wouldn’t they? It is an exciting time for you and your business, but it is also important to be wary. Be wary of new issues coming up that your small business never had before, because they will arise. Don’t let this scare you from scaling your business though. The challenge is not avoiding these issues, but rather noticing them and dealing with them appropriately. It is essential to properly scaling your business.
Remember to trim the fat. Scaling can easily be associated with growth, because it is the growth of your business. But just as a butterfly doesn’t fly around with a cocoon on its back, it is essential that you realize areas of your business that are no longer necessary. Efficiency is key. As your business grows, there are going to be new things that need attention as well as old things that become irrelevant. Be sure to plan for this, as well as keep an eye on all aspects of your business as you grow so that you don’t find yourself with unnecessary expenses that will indefinitely weigh you down.
Stay in touch with your business. When you started your business it was probably rather easy for you to communicate with your staff. You likely started with one other person helping you, someone you personally knew, which made communication very easy. Think about the times when communication was not so smooth with that person and how this affected your business. Now multiply this by however many people you are working with now (or will be in the future); 4 people? 10? 100? You can easily see how complicated communication can get as you add more people into the equation. This can quickly become the death of a business. They key is to have a strategy for chain of command and good leadership in the people who are overseeing the majority of your business. Limit the people that you have to directly talk to, and ensure that they have a process for knowing how things are going on their end.
You’ve made it through the cautionary tales of scaling, so you can start getting excited again! With these aspects of scaling in mind, it will be much easier for you to successfully grow your business. Make a plan with these things in mind, stick to it, and you will grow your business quicker and more efficiently than those who jump into it without this knowledge.
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